New Ebola outbreak in Congo, 4 dead

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Published: June 2,2020 09:13 PM
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June 2, 2020: The Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo announced on Monday that a new outbreak of Ebola virus disease is occurring in Wangata health zone in the Equateur province.

June 2, 2020: The Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo announced on Monday that a new outbreak of Ebola virus disease is occurring in Wangata health zone in the Equateur province.



The country's Health Ministry said that six Ebola cases have so far been detected in Wangata, of which four have died and two are alive and under care.



The announcement comes as a long, difficult and complex Ebola outbreak in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo is in its final phase, while the country also battles COVID-19 and the world's largest measles outbreak.



"This is a reminder that COVID-19 is not the only health threat people face," World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. "Although much of our attention is on the pandemic, WHO is continuing to monitor and respond to many other health emergencies."



COVID-19 already has touched seven of Congo's 25 provinces, with more than 3,000 confirmed cases and 72 deaths. However, like many African countries Congo has conducted extremely limited testing, and observers fear the true toll may be far higher.



The highly lethal Ebola virus causes hemorrhagic fever, severe vomiting and diarrhea, among other symptoms, and is spread through direct contact with body fluids from an infected person.



This is Congo's 11th outbreak of Ebola since the virus was first discovered in the country in 1976.



Less than two months ago, Congo was about to declare an official end to an Ebola epidemic on the eastern side of the country that had lasted nearly two years and killed more than 2,275 people. Then, with just two days to go, a new case was found, and the outbreak could not be declared over. But officials say it is in its final stages.



New outbreaks of Ebola are expected in the Democratic Republic of the Congo given the existence of the virus in an animal reservoir in many parts of the country.


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